Welcome to the new Law Library Learning Commons

Law Library Lounge

Recent visitors to the Law Library might have noticed some construction taking place in the last couple of months. All of this was to create a new space just for you: the Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library Learning Commons. We are happy to announce that this area is opening on Tuesday 13 April!

This space is a great place to collaborate and relax. There are:

  • Three group meeting rooms
  • A range of comfortable seats – both modern and vintage-style
  • High tables with in-built power points and USB points to charge your laptop, tablet or phone
  • Wi-fi throughout the space
  • A water bottle refill station – so you can keep refreshed while you study
  • Hot and cold Zip taps
  • Four microwaves, so you can reheat your meals … once we are able to allow hot food in the library again (after COVID restrictions lift)
  • A new waste management system – including separate recycling, general waste and organics waste bins

Law Library Learning Commons – in pictures

Next time you’re on campus, come and check out the new Law Library Learning Commons in person. You’ll find it on the lowest level of the Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library, under the Law Building.

Sydney Uni Anthology 2021 – call for submissions

Sydney University Anthology 2021 poster art

Creative folk – we want to hear from you! We’re looking for prose, poems and artwork by students, staff and alumni to publish in the Sydney University Anthology 2021.

The anthology is a great opportunity for you to get published and contribute to the creative exploration of the important issues of our times. The theme of this year’s anthology is ‘Networks’.

Why networks?

We live in a world increasingly defined by networks. The pandemic has simultaneously exposed not just the vulnerability of our physical and social networks, but also their adaptability and resilience.

Despite the incredible upheaval in our lives, we have been reminded how connected we all are. While being isolated, quarantined and separated, we still found ways to virtually network, connect and bond. We have also seen ourselves connecting on a much larger scale, uniting through movements and protests, and shared feelings of grief and loss.

The idea of networking cuts across many areas and has been explored as a concept in botany, philosophy, computer science and art. Networks are our communities, our communications and our neural networks, and they define our incredibly complex natural environment.

About the anthology

Published annually since 2007, the Sydney University Anthology showcases the creative talents of our students, staff and alumni. This student-led project is an opportunity for Master of Publishing students to apply their editing, design, marketing and project management skills to a real-life publication consisting of works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art by University of Sydney staff, students and alumni.

Each anthology features a foreword written by a renowned literary figure. In past anthologies, this has included Ceridwen Dovey, Kate Forsyth, PM Newton, Mark Tredinnick and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.

Sydney University Anthology 2021

What you can submit:
Up to 5000 words of prose, five poems or five artistic pieces that focus on the theme of networks.

Deadline for submissions:
Saturday 31 July 2021

Who can contribute:
Students, staff and alumni of the University of Sydney.

How to submit:
Upload your creative work at www.usydanthology.com/submit

For more information, visit usydanthology.com or our Facebook page: @USYDStudentAnthology.

Protocols for cultural safety in our Library

Gadi tree at the University of Sydney

We are very proud to announce the launch of the Library’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Protocols, a sector-leading piece of work that will support our goal of making the Library a welcoming, inclusive and culturally safe space.

The Protocols were written during 2020 by Nathan Sentance, our Cultural Advisor in Residence, in consultation with key Library and University stakeholders, including the Library’s Wingara Mura Project Group, and the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).

They are now available for anyone to read on the University’s repository.

The Protocols contain a range of commitments by the Library to promote culturally safe practices across services, spaces and resources. We will work to ensure that all staff, students and community members with whom we interact feel safe, respected and valued.

As a site of knowledge production and custodian of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges, and the knowledges of other First Nations peoples, the Library is mindful of Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property (ICIP) and encourages ethical use of the First Nations cultural knowledge and culturally appropriate research practices.

There is still a lot of work to be done, beginning with the implementation of the policies and processes outlined in these Protocols through a series of specialised projects over the next couple of years. However, with the finalisation and publication of the Protocols, we have taken a major first step on this journey.

Gadi tree at the University of Sydney
Gadi tree on Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus, the University of Sydney

A poem on visibility

To celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March 2021, the Library is proud to share this wonderful poem, Visible; to be seen, by University of Sydney student Samantha Baker.

Visible; to be seen

 For us who once hid ourselves
in the backs of dresser drawers
behind opaque personas
longing eyes

Visibility is a threat
          to be seen, declaration
               a radical refutation
a siren song to those who have felt our pain.

To be seen
It is to be a contradiction.

When told no, we say yes
When told we are not, we say I am!

To exist!
          to sit in the halls,
          to ride the buses,
          to speak and to be heard,
          to just be!

we silently proclaim –
                    “This is me.
               Am I not enough?
          How could I not be what I am?!”

For when all that once was holy,
has now become profane
what is more divine?
          to be seen as one’s self
          to go by another name
          to look into another’s eyes
          to be seen looking,
different but the same.

For those who had their life blood spilt,
daring just to be
you are not forgotten,
your death not in vain.

Copyright reserved, Samantha Baker 2021

Samantha Baker (she/her) is studying a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at the University of Sydney.

International Transgender Day of Visibility, 31 March

Transgender flag

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) is held on 31 March each year to celebrate the successes and resilience of transgender people and gender non-confirming people. The day raises awareness of their experiences and rights, and recognises the discrimination and transphobia they experience.

To celebrate TDoV 2021, the Library has compiled a short list of highlights from our collection that centres on transgender experiences and stories. All of these resources can be found within the Library catalogue, and can be easily accessed using the QR codes provided.

We’re also very proud to share with you this poem written by University of Sydney student Samantha Baker: Visible; to be seen.

Trans+: Love, Romance, and Being You

By Kathryn Gonzales MBA and Karen Rayne PhD

Trans+ offers an honest, all-inclusive, uncensored guide with real-world information for teens who are transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, gender-fluid, or questioning their gender identity, and for cis-allies.

Trans+ answers the hard questions about gender expression and identity, covers mental health, physical health and reproduction, transitioning, relationships, sex, and life as a trans or non-binary individual.

This easy-to-read book is full of essential information as well as QR codes linking to a plethora of other resources. It is a must-read for everyone!

Find this title in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Trans+ book QR code


By Craig Silvey

Honeybee is a heartbreaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show.

At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a trans, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering stepfather, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.

Honeybee is a tender, profoundly moving novel, brimming with vivid characters and luminous words. It’s about two lives forever changed by a chance encounter — one offering hope, the other redemption. It’s about when to persevere, and when to be merciful, as Sam learns when to let go, and when to hold on.

Find this title in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Honeybook book cover
Honeybee book QR code

Black on both sides: a racial history of trans identity

By C. Riley Snorton

Delve into this book to uncover the overlapping histories of blackness and trans identity from the 19th century to the present day.

In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-19th century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.

Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials, Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialised gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable.

Find this title in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Black on Both Sides book cover
Black on Both Sides QR code

Transgender Resistance: Socialism and the fight for trans liberation

By Laura Miles

Trans rights and trans lives have come under increasingly vicious ideological attack in recent times, from the “bathroom wars” and Donald Trump’s anti-trans edicts in the United States, to attacks on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act in Britain.

Transgender Resistance brings together key strands of the opposition to these attacks – on the streets, in communities, in workplaces and in unions. It addresses the roots of transphobia and the history of gender transgressive behaviours.

It highlights trans peoples’ fight for the freedom to live authentic lives and explains why that fight deserves unconditional solidarity in all sections of the left.

Find this title in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Transgender Resistance book cover
Transgender Resistance QR code

Transgender Warriors: making history from Joan of Arc to RuPaul

By Leslie Feinberg

In this fascinating personal journey through history, Leslie Feinberg – one of the most prominent transgender rights activists today – unearths a vast body of evidence that throughout history there have always been people who defy cultural boundaries of sex and gender. During an embattled childhood and teenage years as a gender outlaw, Feinberg began a search for others struggling to assert an identity.

What zie found was a long tradition of individuals fighting back against injustice – from Joan of Arc to the Welsh peasants who cross-dressed to protest taxes, from the Black and Latina drag queens who led the Stonewall rebellion to transsexual parents fighting for custody today. Traditional society often exacted a terrible price from these transgender warriors, and Feinberg urges us now to receive them as hero/ines and visionaries.

Illustrated with many previously unpublished historical images and contemporary photographs, Transgender Warriors is an eye-opening excursion through the history of sex and gender expression and a powerful testament to the resilient and rebellious spirit.

Find this title in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Transgender Warriors book cover
Transgender Warriors QR code

Trans dilemmas: living in Australia’s remote areas and in Aboriginal communities

By Stephen Kerry

Trans Dilemmas presents the findings of a three-year research project which examined the lived experiences of trans people in Australia’s Northern Territory. The book argues that whilst trans people, who live in remote areas, experience issues which may not be distinct from those living in urban areas and the inner-city, these issues can be aggravated by geographic and demographic factors.

Trans Dilemmas represents an important contribution to contemporary research into the lives of transgender Australians. It gives a voice to those transgender people living in the more isolated communities in Australia, which up until now, have been largely unheard. For students and researchers in Queer Studies and Gender Studies, this is valuable reading.

Find this title in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Trans Dilemmas book cover
Trans Dilemmas QR code


A film directed by Marcelo Barbosa and Aude Chevalier-Beaumel

The revolutionary Indianara fights with her gang for the survival of transgender people in Brazil, striving to put into practice her ideals.

Nearing her fifties, facing the attacks of her political party and suffering the advance of totalitarianism, she joins forces for a last act of resistance.

To view this title, find it in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Indianara film QR code

Leitis in Waiting

A film directed by Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Dean Hamer

Leitis in Waiting is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga Leitis, an intrepid group of transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in their highly religious and conservative South Pacific Kingdom.

With unexpected humour and extraordinary access to the Kingdom’s royals and religious leaders, this emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and the challenge of being yourself without forsaking culture and tradition.

To view this title, find it in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Leitis film QR code


A film directed by Sean Baker

Shot on an iPhone 5, Tangerine is a 2015 American comedy-drama film about a transgender sex worker who discovers that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail and the drama that ensues as she seeks revenge.

To view this title, find it in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

Tangerine film QR code

The Matrix

A film directed by the Wachowski sisters

The Matrix is a science fiction must-see directed by the Wachowski sisters. This 1999 classic is available to watch online via the Library.

The story follows Neo, a computer hacker, who is led to discover that life is nothing more than a simulation controlled by artificial intelligence.

To view this title, find it in our catalogue here or scan the QR code.

The Matrix film QR code

Enhancing cultural safety with digital placemaking

Title screen of short film YILABARA by Jazz Money

As part of its strategic focus on cultural competence, the University of Sydney Library has been working to improve the sense of cultural safety experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in its spaces.

One of these initiatives is the digital placemaking artwork that has just been installed on the display on screens in the Library’s foyers, and the video wall in ThinkSpace. It can also be viewed on YouTube.

Commissioned via a competitive Expression of Interest (EOI) process, the work was produced by Jazz Money, a Wiradjuri woman, poet and artist who practises across film, installation, audio and web. Jazz is the 2020 winner of the David Unaipon Award from the State Library of Queensland. Her first collection of poetry will be published by UQP in 2021.

Jazz’s beautiful silent video piece is titled YILABARA (‘now’ in Gadigal language). Conceptually, this short film is a dialogue with Gadigal Country, contrasting the University campus with the landscape of Ku-ring-gai National Park. The film elicits the relationship between the contemporary built environment and the landscape that existed for millennia before colonisation. The footage is overlaid with an Acknowledgment of Country poem written by Jazz, that appears both in Gadigal and English.

The overarching message is that no matter what interventions occupy the surface, the land on which the libraries are situated always was and always will be Gadigal Country.

Please take the time to reflect on and enjoy Jazz’s beautiful work.

Title screen of Digital Placemaking video by Jazz Money